Innovative biomass projects across the UK can bid for a share of £26 million as the government ramps up plans to boost the use of materials such as grasses, hemp and seaweed to help the UK reach net zero.

Biomass refers to sustainably derived plant material that could be used as fuel to produce energy for heating and powering homes and businesses.

Biomass, which is also backed by the independent Climate Change Committee, will be an important part of the renewable energy mix, vital for the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The chosen projects will drive biomass productivity in the UK through the breeding, planting, cultivating and harvesting of organic matter; from water-based materials such as algae, to whole trees through sustainable forestry operations.

The funding, available through Phase 2 of the government’s Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme, will see projects previously supported under Phase 1 with government funding to design new ways of boosting biomass production in the first round of the scheme, able to apply for further support to bring their projects to life.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said:

"Developing greener fuels like biomass is key to helping the UK slash carbon emissions and drive down costs for consumers.

This £26 million government investment will support innovators across the UK, boosting jobs and investment, and help ensure we have the homegrown supply we need to support our plans to build back greener and tackle climate change.

"Each project will be able to bid for up to £4 million in funding, or up to £5 million for bids from the multi-site demonstrator projects that will showcase new biomass feedstock production projects in multiple locations across the UK."